Welcome to DataWA
Welcome to the DataWA Toolkit - your resource for working with and understanding data that is published at data.wa.gov.au. The Toolkit provides a wealth of guidance, how to guides, and examples for both publishers and users of data and is supported by the WA Government Open Data Policy.
Data creators are the first link in the data lifecycle. You’re responsible for the creation, maintenance, and proper management of data. You act as a custodian for your organisation’s data and work closely with data publishers in your organisation. Your responsibilities are to ensure that data is released safely and with all appropriate supporting material to enable people to understand and use it appropriately. In some organisations data creators and data publishers may be the same individual.
The data lifecycle
1. Prepare data
The data lifecycle begins with preparing your data for publishing by ensuring that it meets the technical requirements for being published on Data.wa.gov.au (e.g. using standard file formats, ensuring it fits within platform limits).
2. Prepare supporting material
Once data preparation is complete, the next key step is preparing supporting material to be published with your data to enable people to understand it (e.g. creating a data dictionary, writing your description of the dataset, your methodology, and how it was created).
For geospatial datasets, it is important to note in which geographic coordinate system, map projection or datum the data is in. If the geospatial data was transformed from another datum the transformation method should also be noted.
3. Upload and publish
With your key preparation steps completed, you’ll now work with your data publisher to upload your data and complete the publishing process. What’s involved in this process will vary depending on the type of data they’re publishing. It may involve using a dedicated publishing tool, or involve uploading the data to a specific platform. Your data publisher may need to liaise with you during the publishing process, and in some cases may involve you directly in uploading the data and specifying how it should be published.
4. Make it discoverable
Once a dataset has been published your data publisher will work with you to make your data discoverable on Data.wa.gov.au, establish the complete metadata record, and check that all supporting collateral has been included. Once this is all in place, congratulations! Your dataset is now discoverable alongside a wealth of other datasets.
5. Ongoing maintenance
With your dataset now published and discoverable you’re at the last key step in the data lifecycle - ensuring processes are in place for the ongoing maintenance of the data. If your data changes often, the best way to ensure that it’s kept refreshed is to put automated processes in place to publish regular updates.
Key links: The data lifecycle
- Preparing data for publishing
- Preparing collateral and supporting material for data
- Uploading and publishing your data
- Making your data discoverable
- Data maintenance, change management, and automating updates
The responsibilities of a data creator fall into three broad categories -
1. Publish responsibly
Take care to publish data safely. Be mindful of privacy, copyright, intellectual property, commercial in confidence and security issues that may relate to your data. In some cases, it may be necessary to publish a public version of your dataset that has been de-identified, or is published in aggregate form, while publishing the full dataset with limitations on who can access it. Refer to your agency’s data release procedures, the Open Data Policy, and the WA Government Data Classification Policy for guidance.
2. Keep data up-to-date
Coordinate within your organisation to ensure that your data is updated in a timely fashion and does not become stale. You also need to ensure that there are appropriate change management process and guidance are in place so that users of your data are kept informed and notified of any changes to the structure or maintenance of the data.
3. Well described data
Coordinate work with your data publisher to ensure your data is well described, has supporting collateral, and that you’re available to answer queries about the use, history, map projection and provenance from users of the data. Where access to data is restricted, you may also be asked to provide input on requests for access from other organisations or individuals who wish to make use of your data.
Key links: Your responsibilities